9 Aug 2013

Fonterra scare poses risk to Maori agribusiness

10:59 am on 9 August 2013

The Federation of Maori Authorities says Maori have significant assets at risk from any damage to the country's agribusiness brand by the Fonterra contamination scare.

Fonterra announced on Saturday that 38 tonnes of its whey protein used in products such as baby formula was contaminated with a bacterium that can cause botulism.

Ten percent of the product remains unaccounted for and a recall of two brands of Nutricia infant formula is under way in New Zealand.

Federation chair Traci Houpapa says its members are devastated by the scare and the impact it may have on the country's international reputation. She says Maori have significant assets and resources at risk from any damage to New Zealand's "clean, green and traceable" agribusiness brand.

Ms Houpapa says an investigation should be initiated immediately to find out what happened, to resolve the problem and to make sure it doesn't happen again.